So, last year I was reading this news article, which was an interview with Alan Menken. He stated that of all the Disney movies getting live-action adaptations, he doesn't reckon that Pocahontas would ever get remade, because of the way it depicts the colonization of Native Americans. What would you say on the matter?
If that film was adapted, the first thing I would ask Alan Menken to do is that he would tone down their skin by a little bit. I would also ask him to change some characters, i.e. John Smith becomes Jonathan Smith. Our heroine would have her name changed, as should with all Natives. If they alter the film's title to something else, then people might want to see it. If not, it may be a huge insult to Native Americans altogether.
I'll say this, now: I could see Pocahontas getting a remake, but, like Mr. Menken said, people these days would find it too problematic, and not very "politically correct". And I do agree with him; the years haven't been kind to the film and it's just one of those ones where as time goes on, it's become very easy to pick apart.
Well, you can understand what critics of the film said that it's one of those movies that wouldn't really work now because of its problematic depiction of history and the colonization of Native Americans.
Really, it isn't. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney's Pocahontas, but it is entirely wrong the way it tells the story. In fact, it probably shouldn't even be sold as the story of Pocahontas at all.
The movie depicts a young adult woman that falls in love with John Smith, a young adult man who only believes in peace with the Natives. This is not how it went at all. Pocahontas was a girl who was about 11 years old when Smith arrived, and Smith himself was almost in his thirties. There was never a romantic relationship between the two, and though Pocahontas 2 tried to make up for this inaccuracy by including her marriage to John Rolfe, it pushes the narrative that Smith and Rolfe fought for her attention.
Adding on to more historical inaccuracies, the English did not treat Pocahontas well in her visits to Jamestown, and reports passed down from Native Americans include that she was taken advantage of while in captivity. John Smith was an unkind man, as well, and was known for being a braggart whose stories were made up in a way to make him look good. Historians have deemed his accounts of kind interactions with the Natives as lies.
So, no, it's not history at all. It is nothing close to the truth. It is not "literally history," it's a romanticized image of the relationship between European explorers and Native Americans that slapped real people's names on it and ran with it.